Increasing The Competitiveness Of Russian Banking Industry

1 Introduction

1.1 Purpose

The purpose of this research is to develop a strategy or strategies allowing Russian government and banking institutions to increase the competiveness of domestic banking industry through processes of mergers and acquisitions (M&A). The initial research will cover following: banks, financial and banking sectors of economy.

2 Aim

The research aims to elaborate theoretical and methodological recommendations and system of practical ways to stimulate and increase number of M&A within the domestic banking industry; leading to the increased concentration of capital within the Russian banking industry and its competitiveness based on the analysis of current conditions, specifics and progress trends of these processes in Russia, in contrast with the experience of developed countries.

3 Chronology

The research will look closer at the processes related to banking industry in Russia and the world in the period of 90s until nowadays. The dissertation will consider further ways of development of the Russian banking industry in context of the globalization.

4 Objectives

This is a general description of the objectives of the research:

To compare the conceptual methods used within the context of M&A in Russian and global experience, legislation and scientific literature; theoretically analyse terms “merger� and “acquisition�, ground the classification connected with M&A;

To systematically analyse the causes why banks choose to merge and acquire, define the key players in the global market; expose the reasons typical for M&A in Russia, its specifics, evaluate and forecast progress trends;

To define general features and elements of M&A for Russian banks, to prepare recommendation for each stage;

To state and ground the development trends of future M&A according to new economic and political issues;

To critically analyse the current conditions of governmental policies and regulations aimed at stimulating the processes of M&A of banks in Russia and develop recommendations in order to improve the concentration and efficiency of banking capital;

To classify the influence of foreign banks in Russia and ground the beginning of new developing stage of the banking industry, where issues of capital will be critically discussed;

To produce a system of particular ways to stimulate and effectively use processes of M&A within the banking industry.

5 Context

5.1 Introduction

The project will be based on one research area, on processes of M&A within the banking industry in Russia. Subsequently these processes and its relevance to the competitiveness of the banking institutions will be discussed. Moreover an industry profile including brief overview will be drawn. The information on the industry ought to explain the current situation and relevance of the processes.

5.2 Area of research

One of the most problems the Russian banking industry is facing today is the capitalisation (Ashurkova, 2007). Operating within the global market banking institutions are unable to compete with major players effectively influenced by the processes of globalisation and high competition. Domestic banks are essential part of economic processes within the state, thus its condition and competitiveness are significant characteristics of the efficient economy (Gorelaja, 2008). In this context, the progress trends of banking industry acquire a special meaning not only in the case of the domestic economy but global market too.

5.3 Industry overview

New economical and political issues, such as expansion of large Russian corporations to international markets, strengthened by the activity of foreign banks in Russia, the necessity to supply credits and investments directed at the steady growth of national economy and welfare, negotiation concerning joining the World Trade Organisation (WTO), increased risks and political tensions, etc, increased the importance of the domestic competiveness, especially within the banking industry (Gorelaja, 2008). In order to achieve success in the competitive rivalry within the domestic and global markets, where corporations will face competition of major foreign banks, it is necessary to significantly raise the capitalization and stability of the whole banking industry (Zoznobin, 2007). The most optimal ways to achieve it are M&A, as the number of credit organisation organisations in Russia exceeds 1,200 (Uglovskaja, 2007). The process of consolidation within the banking industry should strengthen existing institutions delivering financial gearing and diversification (Porter, 1985). However the negative side of these processes are linked with raising systemic risks (Brukov, 2004).

Expansion of “west� banks to Russia has worsen the situation of developing economy and especially of the domestic banking industry and forced banks to search for new ways of development, market niches, and slowly moving away from the corporate clients (Ioncev, 2004). Under these conditions major financial institutions favour regional development and further expansion to low competitive markets. Most of the regions in Russian, except Moscow and St. Petersburg, are considerably underdeveloped (Kaurov, 2006).

The importance of these processes for the modern Russian economy and especially for financial market should not be underestimated. It is recognised by the Russian government and confirmed by the increasing number of such processes (Baranova, 2005). Banking industry has experienced two stages of development: from 1991 until the crisis in 1998, this is the initial forming stage of domestic banks, accumulation of capital and establishment of first financial groups; from 1999 until today is the post-crisis period of recovery, restructuring of the whole industry and formation of new financial groups (Gorelaja, 2008).

5.4 The relevance of the chosen topic

M&A in the financial sector of Russian economic were not studied in details and do not possess with a solid methodological foundation. However, today, in the context of diversification and intensification of production, banking industry is facing following objectives: to satisfy the increasing consumer needs, i.e. credits, investments and other banking services; to survive and successfully compete with foreign banks and its branches. On the other hand, it is necessary to secure the domestic market from the monopoly in the banking industry. In essence, the banking industry is facing a start of a new stage in its development, including further liberalization of financial flows within the countries and outside of its boundaries. Moreover it is necessary to remember that functioning of banking industry at this stage is also requiring the formation of new type of banks, stable and efficient in a time of financial crisis, as well as creation of holdings and banking groups and further attraction of investments.

The processes of M&A are developing very quickly in Russia and the whole world. Meanwhile the scarce efficiency of a large number of deals, in both developed and developing countries, illustrates the inability of corporations and banks to recognise and evaluate effectively all the advantages and disadvantages of concrete offers, risks related to it and its reasonability. Under these circumstances the investigation of M&A in Russia in contrast with the world experience acquires special relevance.

6 Literature review

6.1 Introduction

The objective of the literature review was targeted at the specifics of the processes of M&A within the Russian banking industry. Main sources of information are Aston university library, Moscow Government University library, the online libraries and Google scholar. In order to evaluate the current conditions of banking industry and process of M&A within that industry the literature provide a broad variety of theories, concepts and models.

6.2 Definitions and concepts

Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are forms of corporate restructuring taking a large part in the corporate finance world. Every day, banks attract investment to arrange M&A transactions, which aimed at bringing separate business entities together to form a larger one (Arzac, 2008).

The key idea behind these processes is to create a shareholder value exciding the sum value of two companies (Gole and Hilger, 2008). In other words the main idea behind M&A stating that two companies together are more valuable than two separate business entities. Although it should be understood that these two words are not synonymous, the meaning of terms merger and acquisition is slightly different.

When one company takes over another, it is establishing itself as the new owner (Bruner et al., 2004). In this case the purchase is called an acquisition. In contrast, a merger happens when two firms, often of about the same size, come to the agreement to continue operating as a single new company seeking for benefits rather than remaining separately owned and operated. This action is accurately referred to as a "merger of equals" (Frankel, 2005). However, in practice, actual “mergers of equals� happen very rarely (Gaughan, 2005). Moreover these processes possess with certain specifics which will be further discussed in the final project.

The “domestic� (Russian) and “foreign� literature has studied this topic in-depth. However, literature does not provide with deep analysis of M&A, considering its correlation with the overall economic growth and growth of the banking industry; evaluating those in combination with changes in the social and economical development of Russia. It is necessary not only to examine the current conditions, but progress trends too, in order to contrast those with world trends and draw up a proper conclusion including future development strategies and policies for banking industry and overall economy. In the Russian-language literature such topic, considering the specific consolidation of capital within Russia, occurs rarely. However, other literature possess with deeper understanding and analysis of M&A, which has no theoretical and practical experience under circumstances similar to those in Russia.

6.3 Foundation

Theoretical and methodological foundation for the project is the work of foreign and Russian scientist-economists and financiers in the credit and investment activities, economical policies of Russia: Arzac, Ashkenas, Ashurkova, Baranova, Brukov, Bruner, Frankel, Gole, Gorelaja, Harding, Ioncev, Kaurov, Kulik, Orlova, Potochnig, Reed-Lajoux, Rykova, Seredin, Uglovskaja, Weston, Zoznobin, etc. The work of experts in M&A: Copeland, Gaughan, etc.

Other sources of secondary data, i.e. analytical and statistical information, are the information provided by the websites of Bank of Russia, Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, Federal State Statistics Service, World Bank, Federal Financial Markets Service, journal “The Banker�, “Financial Times�, data and information of consulting agencies Bloomberg, Interfax, Reuters, and Thomson Financial. The work will also use the information provided by the Russian banks, i.e. annual reports; and analytical materials and reviews provided by international consulting organisations: PriceWaterhouseCoopers, KPMG, etc.

Legal base for the research are legislative acts of Russian Federation of the banking industry, investments, equity market and antimonopoly law.

7 Methodology

7.1 Introduction

In order to develop an approach based on the experience of Russian banks and its major rivals the theory and practise will be put together through the multi-method approach of: case study, exemplified by many researchers (e.g. Kaplan and Duchon, 1988), and field work – face to face interviews with senior managers of the major banks in the UK and Russia. The multi-method approach is likely to help gaining the comprehensive knowledge together rather than use of only one method (Robson, 2002). The whole research will last for maximum eight months, starting at January 2010.

7.2 Desk research

Due to the specific nature of the chosen topic use of secondary data will be preferable. According to Gummerson (2000) secondary data is the pre-existing data or information gathered by the third parties (e.g. research study, survey, interview, etc) for a certain purpose not directly linked to the purpose of the initial research. Yin (2003, p.13) stated that a case study is suitable when “a contemporary phenomenon within its real-life context� is analysed. Secondary data can be easily obtained and used in the research at the current moment (Saunders et al., 2007). Based on Hair et al. (2007) main advantages of the secondary data are resource implications, much easier to gather than primary data; low cost, as already collected; longitudinal study may be possible; quality and permanence of data (e.g. government surveys, official statistic).

However, main challenges of the secondary data are linked to the fact that information was gathered for the purpose of another research (Gummerson, 2000). Thus, it is most likely to be out of date, not full, not directly linked to the current research and unreliable. It is appropriate to start a research from looking at the secondary data and when it is exhausted or its usefulness is decreasing considerably, this is a moment to start gathering primary data (Hair et al., 2007).

Primary data

Secondary data


The purpose of the current research

Not gathered for purposes of the current research


Difficult to analyse

Fairly easy and quick



Relatively low




Based on: Gummerson (2000) and Hair et al. (2007)

7.3 Semi-structure interviews - Field work

Deep understanding cannot be achieved through use of secondary data only. Thus use of a primary data is an advantage to gather unique knowledge and answers to the questions. Semi-structured in-depth face to face interview on one-to-one basis as one of the methods allowing gathering qualitative data is a significant part of a research process (Saunders et al., 2007). Journals, books and academic publications allow observing of basic information where interview is the next step delivering deep understanding of the topic. Semi-structured interview “are particularly useful if you already have a clear theoretical appreciation of your topic� (Lee and Lings, 2008, p. 218). In this particular case interview will allow to draw up a conclusion and further recommendations for Russian banking industry based on the world experience (in this case experience of UK banking industry).

Main advantages of the interviews are: considered to be helpful to obtain detailed information about personal opinion, experience and perception; possess with high response rate; useful in gathering specific information as open questions can be asked, moreover vague answers can be fulfilled (Jesson, 2006). However, there are some disadvantages too: interviews are time consuming (e.g. interviewing, analysing, reporting, etc); costly and sometimes difficult to analyse (Hair et al., 2007).

The research will include up to ten interviews of senior managers within the banking industry in the UK and Russia, 30 minutes long each (in total 600 minutes, 20x30). The time limit for the interview will not exceed two months. Each interview will be analysed on a thematic basis using the methodology proposed by Easterby-Smith et al. (1991).

Many people are not used to giving interview, and probably would not like the fact of losing their free time (Gill, Johnson, 2002). Interviews will include group of people of senior working within the banking industry directly or indirectly related to the processes of M&A. These are the people possessing with the significant information research is interested in. Interview will be taken in the lunch time in the informal environment, which is an advantage (Stjernberg, 2006).

Interviews will start from general questions further moving to specifics. Successful interview should start from neutral questions such as question related to the industry as a whole (Lee and Lings, 2008). This helps to enjoy the favour of the interviewee in the discussion. Important questions are “how long you are working for the business�, “what are the main responsibilities�, “what is the experience the person possesses with�, etc (Saunders et al., 2007).

8 Ethics

According to the research ethics guide of Aston Business School (Evans, 2004) the research has to to fulfil following principles:



Informed consent


In order to ensure that guidelines are strictly followed interviewees will be fully informed of the issues concerning the aim and purpose of the initial research before the prior interview. Moreover such issues as anonymity, confidentiality, potential benefits and risks related to the interview and everything concerning the collected data, information and records will be emphasised by the researcher. The participation in the interview should be voluntary. Furthermore confidentiality should be documented for the benefit of the interviewee.

9 Novelty

The novelty of the dissertational research and its topic is following:

Based on the theoretical knowledge and analysis of economic literature it is possible to define terms: M&A, which will allow adequately to evaluate these processes with particular attention to its dependence on the corporate control;

To create a scientific classification of reasons leading to M&A in banking industry, and analyse in details its role in the context of the global financial market;

Based on the results of comparative analysis of Russian and global markets of M&A reveal the specific causes of these processes dominated in Russia and major factors influencing the progress trends for this market in Russia. Retrospectively classify the Russian market of M&A and define its historical and future trends;

Based on the theoretical studies and world experience (McKinsey & Company organisation) in the market of M&A critically evaluate these process and create recommendation for the banking industry with particular references to the specific nature of domestic banks;

To develop a system of measures stimulating future development of required processes within Russian banking industry, aimed at gaining a competitive advantage of the whole banking industry and concentration of capital;

To define and critically evaluate the presence and functioning of foreign capital in the banking industry; analyse those in the context of future development, progress trends of M&A.

10 Practical meaning and approval

The practical meaning of this work will reveal the results leading to a positive outcome. On micro level, banks face many challenges within the banking industry, thus they have to develop and plan M&A more carefully taking in account the specifics of Russian market, its economic and political issues, and whereas using the experience of “west� countries can be advantageous. Perhaps this will increase the effectiveness and bring down the costs. Organisations should consider better use of synergic effect and recommendations, keeping in mind the difference of each single process. This will likely to ease the integration of consolidating structures.

On macro level, there is a necessity to change the legislative and regulatory rights, and policies in the whole banking industry, methods of regulations and supervision, as well as particular regulations in the governmental developing policies of the banking industry. This will accelerate the development of the banking industry and its competitiveness in a global market. The Bank of Russia is facing the necessity to develop a complex policies dedicated to the problem of future development of M&A based on the high differentiation of services provided by commercial organisations, and recommend these organisations terms and conditions only of those processes leading to economical and social efficiency.

11 Structure

The structure of the dissertation is based on the aims and tasks of the dissertational research and will include three chapters, conclusion, bibliography and appendices. The work should not exceed the length of 15,000 words.


Chapter I.

Theoretical foundation of mergers and acquisition within the banking industry


Terms “merger� and“acquisition�


Why do organisations tend to merger and acquire?


Reasons and causes in Russia and its specifics


Systemic analysis of mergers and acquisitions

Chapter II

The evaluation and comparative analysis of experience and progress trends f mergers and acquisitions within the banking industry in Russia and the world


Practice and trends of mergers and acquisitions in Europe and USA


Evaluation of experience and progress trends as an optimal way to attract investments within the banking industry in Russia, and its specifics according to the world experience

Chapter III.

Development perspectives of mergers and acquisitions, consolidation of banks in Russia and its influence over the capital


Mergers and acquisitions within the Russian banking industry as a significant factor in competitiveness and attraction of financial flows


Governmental policies and regulation of mergers and acquisition in Russia and the potential use world experience


The influence of foreign investments over future development of Russian banking industry


The place of mergers and acquisitions in the future development policies




12 Task list




Desk research

Obtain literature on mergers and acquisition within the banking industry, banking industry conditions, progress trends

Literature is not available through university library, limited due to specifics of the topic

Textbooks, Journals, Newspapers, Business Magazines, Online sources, reserve of required items online, order books via internet-library loan, use of non-academic literature if appropriate

Review literature, identify relevant and reliable sources

Possibly large number of sources, analysis can be limited by time

Efficient time management, scheduling, assistance of tutor and critical analysis

Semi-structured face to face interviews

Identify the interviewees for semi-structured interview, sample size 4-6 candidates

May not identify the correct people

Use of personal contacts to identify interviewees

Conduct three pilot surveys to test interview agenda

Responses may not be relevant

Amend interview agenda

Contact most appropriate candidates to arrange interview

Candidate refusals to participate

Reserve candidates

Design interview agenda

Ensuring appropriate focus on relevant questions

Prepare interview thoroughly, send emails providing information about the interview, question, topic, etc, provide interview guide

Conduct survey

Insufficient, irrelevant or obsolete gathered information

Vary question according to the interview flow, open vs. closed, neutral vs. specific

Transcribe interview

Time limitation, focus on relevant and reliable information

Use of appropriate guidelines (Secondary data)

Code and analyse the transcripts

Information overload

Use of appropriate guidelines (Secondary data)

Report related

Collate report based on objectives

Write up dissertation, draw conclusion and recommendations

Use of appropriate guidelines (Secondary data)

Presentation and thank you letters to senior interviewees

Week No.
































Literature search

Literature review

Idetify interviwees

Pilot test interview

Contact interview candidates

Design interview agenda

Conduct survey

Transcribe interviews

Code and analyse interviews

Collate report, conclusion

Write up report

Presentation/Thank you

13 Time Plan - Gantt Chart

14 Literature Search Framework Strategy

Key Words

Theory, concepts, mergers and acquisitions, banking industry, Russia,

Bank of Russia, World Bank, experience, consulting, reports, analitical materials, review

Online database

Host/System Used

Data Searched

Key Words

Fields Searched

Years Searched





Merger, acquisitions

Bank, Russia, mergers & acquisitions

Russia & banks

Mergers & acquisitions banking industry

M&A, strategy, development, future

All fields

All fields

All fields

All fields

All fields
















Aston E-Library

Merger, acquisitions

Bank, Russia, mergers & acquisitions

Russia & banks

Mergers & acquisitions, banking industry, theory

M&A, strategy, development, future

All fields

All fields

All fields

All fields

All fields
















MSU E-Library

Merger, acquisitions

Bank, Russia, mergers & acquisitions

Russia & banks

Mergers & acquisitions, banking industry, theory

M&A, strategy, development, future

All fields

All fields

All fields

All fields

All fields
















Web sites